Chivalry question


I have never done this before, but just the other day I was going into the library (eh, I have done that before). This library has a double-doored entrance with a breezeway, then another set of double doors. There happened to be a man standing there finishing up a cigarette (right next to the sign that says “No smoking near the entrance”). He very kindly opened the door for me. Here’s the tricky part. Since he had so kindly done this, I went through and waited at the next door (just a second or two–this is not a large building). He said, “Well, you really like service” and muttered something else under his breath that I didn’t catch. So, here’s my question: Was it right to wait at the second door, or was it presumptious? Opinions from men and women, please.


Small details in things like politeness and custom vary across the country.

As a young man from Texas (where I hold a lot of doors) I can only give you things from my perspective.

I could see him opening the first door but not the second if he was just standing outside but not going in, or perhaps he said what he thought was a witty comment to be sociable.


I too noticed that the rules seem different in different areas. When I moved to Austin for a couple of years I was always astonished that men opened doors for me so often, A couple of times a man got offended because I didn’t wait. Somehow, wearing a dress seems to make a difference. If I was wearing pants… less men felt the need to open doors and carry things for me.

So then I moved back to New Mexico. If I waited here for some man to open a door I might just be waiting outside for a couple of days. LOL

So If you were in Austin… he was being rude. If you were in New Mexico… You should have been extremely grateful for the first door. And remember what you are wearing seems to matter too. shrugs I haven’t tested any other places.


He was definitely on his way into the library, just having finished his cigarette. If he wasn’t I wouldn’t have waited. I also wouldn’t have waited for the second door if he hadn’t opened the first.

Just to be clear, my question is mostly related to me waiting for him to open the second door, not so much the first. Was that presumptious or not, given that he had just opened the first one?


If I had been in your shoes, I would have opened and held the second door for him. I do it all the time. Someone holds a door for me and I say “Thank you.” When we get to the next door , I’m in front so I just as politely hold it for the person who just held it for me.


I think it is impossible to know these days. I try my best to let gentlemen be gentlemen, but I don’t assume that all men are gentlemen. It sounds like the man who held the door open for you was rather reluctant about being a gentleman. I really wouldn’t worry about it.

Where I live people tend to be pretty polite, but when I go shopping in the San Fernando Valley, people there are so self absorbed, they would let the door slam in your face if you were following them out of the door.


I second this comment. however, if you had your hands full, or were pushing a stroller, than he should ahve opeend the door. however, all other things being equal, Loren’s comment seems best.


Normally, that’s exactly what I would have done, too. But I don’t really like doing that. To me, it kind of smacks of modern-day feminism and the idea that we’re all the same, yada yada yada, and I feel like I’m throwing his good deed back in his face, or just that I might seem ungrateful. So, why would you have held the door for him?


I am from big city Texas and I EXPECT doors to be held for me. It’s not optional. :slight_smile: I wouldn’t ever go out on a second date, for example, with a guy who didn’t open doors, no matter what part of the country I’m in. Miss Manners actually says you should develop a “graceful pause” between double doors to allow the gentleman to catch up and open the second set. I’d say that if he didn’t want to open both doors, he shouldn’t have opened the first one. And the comment was unnecessary, unless he was making a joke…sounds like maybe he was.

BUT…that’s my opinion and not worth much. :slight_smile: What Miss Manners says and what you get are two different things. I wouldn’t worry about it, you handled it correctly.



heh if all of us ladies would listen to Miss Manners ther’d probably be a lot more Chivalry in the world!


I don’t think it would offend a man to hold the next door open for him. For one thing, you should always smile and say “thank you!” if anyone holds open the door. So, that shows you appreciate the favor. For another, you are perfectly capable of opening the door for someone else. You got there first and had reason to believe that he was following you. What harm can it do to open it for him? If he was eager to be chivalrous for the sake of it, he would have lept in front of you to be at the second door in time to get it for you.

I always let men open doors and I always thank them. But, if I’m clearly there first, I’ll hold it open/give it an extra bump as I go through, with a smile. When I was on dates or walking with a man, I tended to slow down a bit so that he could be there, first.

There’s no intrinsic reason why a man should open the door. It’s an old custom, but that doesn’t mean that you’re turning Nature itself topsy turvy by being polite to whomever is behind you.


I’ve actually been cussed at by a “womyn” for holding a door open for her. Needless to say, it only strengthened my convictions to continue on.


I agree with you. In the building I work in there are lots of doors to go through before you get to my office. And it is very important that we have all these doors because in case of a fire a long story but because of Health and Safety. But anyway the person enter first will hold the door open for you and then the next door I would hold open. Even the lift if somebody shouts hold the lift then you do so it is common curtsy. Why could you not open the second door yourself who said that he was even coming back inside when you were going in.


late addition:

Typically with double doors, after I’ve held the first door, if they hold the second, I’ll take it from then and tell them to go ahead. If they try to just go through it I rush to get it to hold it. It’s hardwired, I can’t help it.


I always reach for the door… I don’t expect anyone to wait on me.

If anyone offers, I am extremely grateful and thankful… and if in the case of a double set of doors, I immediately hold open the second set…


I have held as many doors for men as men have held them for me. To me, it’s a matter of who is there first. I guess I grew up in the age of feminism, but I don’t expect anyone to hold open a door for me. If they do because they were there first, I think it is common courtesy. I would think it rude of them not to hold it for me. But if I get there first, I would feel rude not holding it for them.

Now if a man (or woman) had their hands full, I would run up ahead of them to open the door, just as I would hope a man (or woman) would do for me.


It varies. At school men dont hold the doors open for ladies, but what can you expect out of a bunch of young boys. In my professional world I get the door held a lot for me. The other day I had run the grocery store, While unloading my car a storm started up and the guy that lives above me was out on his balcony smoking a cig. He ran down grabbed an arm load of my groceries closed the trunk of my car and left them on my door step. It was really sweet of him and I really appreciated him coming all the way from the third floor to help me unload my groceries. only bad thing was I didnt know he did it and stepped right on the sack holding my eggs as I was rushing out to grab the last load. I was really impressed because this guy kinda put me off a little when I first moved in, made me nervous i guess but you cant judge a book by its cover! Chivalry isnt dead, its just in a coma, in a permanently vegatative state. :thumbsup:


Glad to hear there are some out there still not intimidated by “womyn”. :thumbsup:


I’m one that will open doors for women, even to the point of wating a few seconds for the woman to catch up and enter before me.
As for the double doors, sometimes its akward. Where she stands, the placement of the second door. I still try my best tho.
On a few occasions, the woman would open the second door for me. makes me feel a bit wierd


See, that is always the dilemma. On the one hand it would be natural for me to want to return the favor, on the other hand, I would hate to interfere with a gentleman being a gentleman.

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